Spooky Discovery: Perfectly Carved Out Doorway Nestling in the Martian Landscape
In the years that we've had access to close-ups of Mars from landers and orbiters, we've been treated to some truly weird and wonderful snapshots of the red planet: craters filled with ice, strange chevron-shaped rock formations, hollowed-out mountains and plenty more
One of the most recent snaps beamed back from the Curiosity rover on Mars has revealed a rather interesting feature in the rocks: what looks to be a perfectly carved out doorway nestling in the Martian landscape.
The doorway doppelgänger is so eerily convincing we’re almost tempted to start believing that it leads to a little hideaway for Martians, or perhaps a portal to another Universe entirely. We’re also getting ‘tunnel to the center of the planet’ vibes from this.
At the very least, the picture and the geological feature it’s captured would seem to be enough to inspire a science-fiction movie or two.
However, the far more sensible people of Reddit have pointed to this likely being a shear fracture: the result of some kind of strain on the rock breaking part of it off, perhaps given a helping hand by a marsquake or two.
In fact, the largest temblor recorded on the red planet so far happened on May 4 of this year, and scientists are still working to pinpoint where exactly it happened and what caused it.
What’s more, while the the door-like rock formation may appear to be full-sized in our imaginations, it’s possible the cavity seen is only a few centimeters or inches tall in real life, though it’s difficult to be certain from the picture.
You can see a bigger, colorized version of the original picture here. The doorway shape is up towards the top of the composite image, a little to the left of the center.
The image was taken at a geological feature known as Greenheugh Pediment, by the Mast Camera on board Curiosity, on 7 May 2022.
In the years that we’ve had access to close-ups of Mars from landers and orbiters, we’ve been treated to some truly weird and wonderful snapshots of the red planet: craters filled with ice, strange chevron-shaped rock formations, hollowed-out mountains and plenty more.
In terms of spooky discoveries in space that appear to resemble ‘alien’ structures, it’s important we don’t get too carried away with what grainy images can sometimes suggest.
In December 2012, Curiosity‘s two-year mission was extended indefinitely, and on 5 August 2017, NASA celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing. The rover is still operational, and as of May 12, 2022, Curiosity has been active on Mars for 3471 sols (3566 total days; 9 years, 279 days) since its landing (see current status).
The NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team was awarded the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association “In recognition of the extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation’s technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity’s understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments.”Curiosity‘s rover design serves as the basis for NASA’s 2021 Perseverance mission, which carries different scientific instruments. /WIKIPEDIA/
Yutu-2 is the robotic lunar rover component of CNSA’sChang’e 4 mission to the Moon, launched on 7 December 2018 18:23 UTC, it entered lunar orbit on 12 December 2018 before making the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon on 3 January 2019. Yutu-2 is currently operational as the most long-lived lunar rover and the first lunar rover traversing the far side of the Moon.
As of January 2022, Yutu-2 had travelled a distance of more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) along the Moon’s surface.